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3rd October 2019 | Brexit, Press Releases

Use a public plebicite in the North rather than an Assembly vote to confirm any Brexit deal – Greens

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The Green Party continue to support the Government in seeking a deal which reflects the Good Friday agreement.

Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson with special responsibility for Brexit, Cllr Vincent P Martin said:

“At the heart of the Good Friday Agreement is the principle of consent. We believe that a solution the current entrenched impasse is to let the UK exit the backstop whenever it wants – provided the British government first agrees to put a question to the people of Northern Ireland

“Expecting the Stormont assembly to provide such democratic oversight has several disadvantages to a public confirmatory vote.  The four year wait for such a decision in the Assembly would create ongoing uncertainty and giving veto powers to any one Northern party is a recipe for disaster.

“The proposed plebiscite would unequivocally not be a border poll but it would give real democratic legitimacy to whatever proposals are finally arrived at. It would be far better to use that mechanism than relying on a Stormount vote where parties typically divide on sectarian sides.”

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD added:

“The UK Government has moved slightly in agreeing to regulatory alignment between the North and South, which would allow certain products to stay within the single market.

“They now need to go further and confirm that there will be regulatory alignment in other areas such as environmental and labour legislation, so that there is a level playing field across the island.’

“We also agree with the Irish Government when they make the point that the creation of two customs jurisdictions create fundamental problems that relate not just to economic matters.’

“We will continue to support the Government where they are seeking to get a deal which truly reflects all the commitments that have been made in the Good Friday Agreement.”